Tag Archives: Islamic extremists

Now is the time to be unified, not point fingers

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Before all the information started coming out about the attacker in the nightclub in Orlando, who as of today is responsible for the murder of 50 people, the big question being asked was whether or not this was a terrorist attack or a hate crime?  As authorities also arrested a suspect with an arsenal on the way to the Gay Pride parade in Los Angeles, the idea of calling it a hate crime became even more prevalent.  In reality the actual distinction between terrorism and what we call hate crimes is a misnomer, since terrorism is in essence the ultimate hate crime.

Civilization’s worst enemy today are Islamic Extremists.  They have made it very clear that they want to destroy everything the western world stands for and believes in. They want to at best, neutralize, at worst destroy all other religions.  Tolerance and acceptance are contrary to everything they believe in.  In short, they hate everything we are and all we value.

With all the criticism Democrats and Republicans have for the other side, we see today that America still is a great country.  The majority of Liberals and Conservatives, even if they vehemently argue about gay marriage or gay rights, mourn the attack without any hint of prejudice because it took part in a gay club. This is of no big surprise, because this is a country in which the majority of its citizens do no want to see harm come to others and see this is an attack for what it is, an attack on America, which subsequently is an attack on all of us.

That being said, I can’t help thinking about an episode of the show Friends in which the character Chandler starts smoking and the group are all over him about it.  What does Chandler do?  He brings up issues that cause them to fight among themselves and they totally forget he is even in the room, allowing him to smoke unencumbered.  Yesterday, when I saw the beginning of dissent among the American public and the first finger pointing, I could not help but think how much that played into the hands of the terrorists. Friends was funny.  This was not.  The more we fight among ourselves, the more we point fingers at what we think is the other side-the truth is we are really all on the same side- the more vulnerable we become to terrorism.  Naive? Maybe. But we must work together to preserve our freedoms and liberties.  Divisiveness is in itself a continuation of the terror attacks for it attacks the very core of who we are.

Not one person on either channel yesterday, at least no one I heard give their expert analysis was willing to say something to the effect of, “our leaders need to do more to recognize the enemy and there need to be stricter gun laws”.  As I have said many times, most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists today are Muslim.  That is not a statement of bigotry, it is a statement of fact.  I believe the administration makes a mistake in not clarifying that.  But to say that and ignore the fact that gun laws need to be addressed is not looking at the entire problem. Truth is that terrorists are criminals themselves, so no gun law will make a major impact on what they try to do, but if it was not as easy as it is to get a gun in this country it’s hard not to make a case that lives would be saved.  I believe in the right of every law abiding and mentally stable citizen to own a gun, but I also feel that someone who was investigated by the FBI and had a history of abusive and antagonistic behavior should somehow be prevented from owning one.  If that means a yearly psychological analysis is needed to continue to have a right to own a gun, then so be it. No mentally stable law-abiding citizen should have a problem with that. Inconvenient? So is going through the security checks at the airport, but it’s a necessity in the world in which we live today and something we actually need to appreciate.

The terrorist that killed the people in  Orlando was, sad to say, homegrown.  He was born and raised in the United States and somehow was filled with such hate for the way of life in America that he was willing to murder in what he felt was in the name of his religion. What this shows us is that regardless of what stances we take on immigration we still have a problem.  Borders are made somewhat irrelevant by the internet, allowing organizations like ISIS to infiltrate our society and influence the angry and disenfranchised.  Sure we can make things better by enforcing laws in all areas, including immigration, but the problem is more a reflection of the poor health of our society than the porous nature of our borders.

There are many issues that need to be addressed to see to it that our society is safe and prosperous, and although terrorism is an enormous threat, our division among ourselves may be an even worse threat, and to ignore that or let it be ignored for the self-serving needs of any politician or pundit is something we can no longer allow to happen.  If we do we then risk losing everything we hold dear as a nation and a society.

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The Nuclear Scenario

Nuclear_bombIt’s the topic we don’t often bring up, but it’s always somewhere in our minds.  With all that is happening in the world one might think it is just a matter of time till we see the use of some form of a nuclear weapon.  It’s a terrifying thought and quite frankly one that makes no normal person happy, regardless of where it would be used.  We can choose to ignore the subject, a decision I would understand because of how frightening it is to imagine, but what I am going to do in this piece is break down the numerous scenarios in which it could happen.

I’ll start with the 5 countries that are members of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. They are the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France and China.  I believe the least likely of the  to be presented with an option in which to go nuclear is China.  Of the remaining 4, only Russia finds itself in a conflict close to home, but the fact that it is so close to home is the very reason not to use it.  The concerning thing about Russia has always been that after the break up of the Soviet Union there was a concern that weapons were scattered in various locations. That fear has dissipated somewhat with the control Vladimir Putin seems to have over the area, but that being said, Russia is the country on the list I see as most susceptible to terrorist infiltration.  The remaining three are all facing the potential threats of terrorist attacks by Islamic terrorists and should an attack be serious enough and the source identifiable, one can’t take a nuclear response off the table.  That is something all would be reluctant to do unless the attack on them was nuclear, and even then it would be uncertain.

There are four other countries that are nuclear powers, three declared and not members of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and one which is not a declared nuclear power but widely known as being one. There are more scenarios here and they are all quite terrifying. The first two, India and Pakistan, are the ones that might be seen as most likely to use  a nuclear weapon on the other.  Although the tensions between the two have calmed somewhat over the years, these 2 countries still don’t like each other and have very different global interests.  I believe India would only consider doing so if forced into it  and I believe Pakistan under its current leadership would not use it.  But this is where it gets interesting.  The Taliban has a significant presence in Pakistan and with neighboring Afghanistan still unstable and dealing with its strong Taliban force, no one wants to even think about what would happen should Pakistan’s government be replaced with a government aligned with Islamic extremists, or even worse a Taliban government.  That would without doubt be a global game changer.

There are 2 countries left to speak of, one of which is the one undeclared nuclear power, Israel.  Israel, like the nations in the Non-Proliferation Treaty, will only go nuclear if absolutely necessary, meaning if it is a matter of survival.  Israel would not need nuclear weapons to wipe out Iran’s nuclear program and is more likely to keep Iran in check with the threat of reprisal should Iran get nuclear weapons and use one of its proxies to attack Israel.

I left North Korea for last.  This was not an accident.  It is unquestionably the most dangerous of all the nuclear powers.  Besides the fact that their dictator Kim Jong has repeatedly threatened the U.S., it’s believed that North Korea helped fund the building of Hamas’s terror tunnels from Gaza to Israel.  No one finds it hard to believe that Kim would have a problem providing Hamas or any other terrorist organization with a nuclear weapon.  Like Hamas, Kim Jong’s Korea doesn’t care about his own people so he would have no problem contributing to a genocide of another people.  I have no doubt Israel is watching him very closely.

The terrorism scenario is always out there of course, be it a conventional bomb or dirty bomb,  especially since there are groups that have declared their willingness and desire to cause devastation in large western cities, most notably New York City.

All this is conjecture, but with all the conflicts going on today anything can happen at any time.  Let’s hope this doesn’t.

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The Missile’s Targets: All Jews

As a Jew who cares about Israel’s well-being and as someone who often makes his voice heard, I often ask myself what is it that I can say that we have not already heard or read.  I have a lot of company in my concerns and fears and by no means think there are things that I know that make me better informed than so many out there.  All I can offer that is significantly different is how I feel and my personal perspective on events taking place.

As many of you know,  I am the son of Holocaust survivors.  There are those who would consider that irrelevant to current events.  I wish it was the case, but unfortunately with the attitude and goal of Islamic extremists, it is sadly and dangerously relevant.  Hatred, persecution, anti-Semitism are things that generally don’t take the same form when repeated in different eras, but the sentiment is never all that different.  Jews are hated with passion by a people and many of these people wish us death.

I believe myself to be an optimist by nature and try to look at what is going on in the world and specifically Israel in an optimistic way.  The best I can come up with is the hope that a strong Israeli military at least temporarily disables the enemy.  The problem however is that now the enemy has gone from being more than a nation or even a group.  The enemy has become an ideology.  The ruling forces have ingeniously taken the people’s suffering and hopelessness and turned it into a fanatical hatred towards the Jews and the western world.

This is no longer about Israel.  Israel is vitally important, not only to Jews but to people who love freedom all over the world.  But this threat goes way beyond Israel and disputes over land.  This is hatred for Jews and holds dangers similar to other times in our history.

As Jews we’ve seen those who hate us deceive us in order to catch us by surprise.   The Nazis never said the Jews were going to Concentration Camps to be murdered.  They were being “relocated”.  Jewish traitors who helped the Nazis, thinking that they would be spared and even treated well, met the same fate of those they betrayed.  Even when arriving at camps with gas chambers the victims were never told the truth about the enemies intentions.  But let’s be real here.  Anyone capable of murder will have no problem with lying.

I am a citizen of the world.  As corny as it sounds, I want to love everyone.  However, the hearts and minds of such a large percentage of the Muslim populist has been so poisoned by hate that feeling love and caring for these people would be tantamount to suicide.  At best we can attempt patience and understanding, not to be nice but to maybe plant the seed of reason in a dangerously large percentage of the planet lacking this reason.  Unfortunately it is unlikely this would even work because the corrupt and evil leaders of these people will do anything to stop optimism and hope, including killing their own in large numbers and certainly mercilessly attacking as many Jews as possible.

It has been said by so many in the past that as long as Israel exists, “Never Again” will be more than a hollow cry.  Israel’s strength protects Jews worldwide.  In my lifetime Israel has never been more important to the survival of the Jewish people as it is today, not just in Israel but worldwide, because it has never been more clear that the difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism is comparable to the difference between “relocating” and murder in the gas chambers.

And remember, this was written by an optimist.